March 10, 2022
Walmart is looking to add 1.6 million new members to its Walmart+ subscription plan.
Chris Cracchiolo, SVP and GM Walmart+, wrote in a company blog post yesterday that the retailer is adding all of its full-time and part-time employees working in stores, distribution centers and fulfillment centers to the delivery subscription plan for free. The annual plan normally costs $98.
“This new Associate benefit is not only our way of saying thank you for all they do, but it’s also so that Associates can use our membership, tell us how it’s going, and ultimately tell people about it. customers from their personal experience,” Mr. Cracchiolo wrote. .
It’s unclear how many of the retailer’s associates are current Walmart+ members. Walmart has not publicly disclosed the number of its members, but third-party estimates put the number at between 11.5 million (Consumer Intelligence Research Partners) and 32 million (German Bank).
The retailer organized a Exclusive Access Event over the past few weeks to offer Walmart+ members savings similar to Black Friday on popular products. A 30-day free trial offer aims to attract new members who might be intrigued by the prospect of offers not available to the general public.
Walmart+ members get free grocery delivery and shipping on online orders, plus discounts on gas and prescription drugs.
RetailWire contacted other retailers with subscription plans — Amazon.com, Best Buy, Kroger and Target — to see if employees were being offered free subscriptions as a condition of employment.
An Amazon spokesperson, who did not directly answer the question, sought to reframe the conversation.
“We are proud to offer an average starting salary for frontline employees of over $18 per hour in the United States and comprehensive benefits for full-time employees,” he said. “These benefits include health, vision and dental insurance; a 401(k) with a 50% business match; up to 20 weeks of paid parental leave; Amazon’s Career Choice program, whereby the company fully funds an employee’s tuition, including courses, books, and fees; Amazon Care, which offers the best in virtual care and in-person healthcare services; and Amazon’s Resources for Living program, a free mental health benefit offering services and support to employees, their families and households.
Other retailers contacted by RetailWire had not responded at the time of publication. The message will be updated if replies are received.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you think of Walmart’s decision to offer free Walmart+ memberships to its store, distribution and fulfillment center employees? Do you expect other retailers to do the same with their subscription plans or will they take a similar approach to Amazon?
“All retailers are in a battle for talent, and especially front-line staff, so increasing salaries, perks and perks like free memberships will become more common.”